How Do I Become a Freelance Developer?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2019
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The process to become a freelance developer can be different depending on your current level of knowledge and experience. If you are new to programming and want to eventually become a freelance website, software, or mobile device developer, you can either attend school or learn on your own. Since freelancers tend to get hired based on ability rather than credentials, the most important factor is that you become well versed in the type of tasks you will need to perform. If you already work in website development or know how to program, you may want to take your financial stability into account before you become a freelance developer. Before you make the transition to full time freelance work, you should have several months worth of salary saved and possibly have some clients lined up as well.

A career in freelance website, software, or mobile device development can be attractive due to the amount of freedom it presents. As long as you complete each job on time, you have nobody telling you when to work or how you need to accomplish a task. You will need to have a good understanding of programming, and some specific knowledge of how to accomplish the various jobs you plan to take on. One way to obtain this knowledge is to study for a technical degree or a bachelor's of computer science.


It is also possible to learn how to develop websites and software without obtaining a formal education. Many people learn these skills by using resources that are readily available on the Internet, such as tutorials, source code examples, and freeware compilers. After you have gained an understanding of these concepts, you can develop webpages or software to serve as a portfolio. One of the best ways to become a freelance developer is to have a portfolio of software programs or websites that you created and can show to prospective clients.

You may also be interested in transitioning from a career in web development or software engineering to doing the same type of work on a freelance basis. If you are an experienced programmer and want to become a freelance developer, it can be helpful to begin creating a client base while still working at your existing job. It can also be a good idea to save up several months worth of income to support yourself after you go freelance in case you encounter any difficulty securing enough work. In some circumstance you may need to become a freelance developer out of necessity without completing this prep work, though doing so can help increase your chances of success.



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